Silverstone started the day with grey skies and light rain in the air, and that remained when first practice started with Valteri Bottas the first to take to the wet track, the Finn piloting one of the WilliamsF1 FW35's in the team's 600th grand prix.
Drivers went out for an installation lap as is standard for the start of practice. WilliamsF1 team radio confirmed what all could see - that the rain was set to stay - but should clear towards the end of the session. That never happened with reports coming through that the rain may linger for second practice on Friday afternoon.
It wasn't for more than an hour after Bottas went out that a driver recorded a lap time when Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso stuck a 2'00.029" on the board. Suddenly with 10 minutes to go, a plethora of cars hit the track to give the passionate - and patient - Silverstone crowd something to cheer about.
Home favourite Lewis Hamilton's first timed lap with four minutes remaining popped him into first place with a 1'55.458", just as Charles Pic in the Caterham spun off into the tyre barrier breaking his front wing. Drivers could be seen fish-tailing as they tried to keep their cars on the track with Nico Hulkenberg having a particularly wild time on the exit of Copse.
In the dying seconds of the session Daniel Ricciardo took the fastest time with a 1'54.249" with Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Hamilton, Gutierrez, Bottas, Vergne, Van der Grade, Chilton and Bianchi completing the top 10. Felipe Massa was the only other driver to complete a lap with the rest preferring to sit out the session.
Dry weather is expected for Saturday and Sunday, so if the rain does not let up for Friday's second practice ithe chances of much on-track action are limited.